Officials in Delphi broke ground Tuesday on a $12.5 million apartment development that Mayor Anita Werling hopes will serve as a catalyst for population growth.
The Interurban Apartments will feature 68 units and represents what county leaders believe is the largest residential investment in Carroll County’s history.
“I think it’s a testament that the rural communities in the Greater Lafayette area are thriving,” Carroll County EDC Executive Director Jake Adams said. “And this investment just really highlights that we are just as much participating in the growth in this in the state and the region as anyone else.”
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Werling said the city’s population hasn’t really changed in 100 years.
“To bring 68 apartment units, it means more students coming into the schools, where our population is declining,” Werling said. “[We have a] high quality school system, but just our demographics with an aging population, this makes a huge difference for the schools.”
The project will also complement the work the city has done on its downtown since earning the state’s Stellar Communities designation in 2012, the mayor said.
“We had really the downtown rebuilt as a result of that, and a lot of the historic buildings are now looking like they would have back in the 1880s instead of having boarded up windows on the second and third floors. So, this is another major step along those lines of transformations that have occurred.”
Delphi is located about 77 miles northwest of Indianapolis.
The three-story building, being developed by Lafayette-based Iron Men Properties, will feature a gym, rooftop patio and surface parking.
Luke Flowers, director of technology for Iron Men, said the project is by far the company’s most complex in terms of partnerships with local officials and funding sources. The project is being made possible by a combination of tax increment financing, grants from the state’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, redevelopment tax credits and more.
“We hope this project will be a blueprint for what’s possible in other communities like Delphi that really need housing,” Flowers told IIB. “And the path to do it is kind of complicated, but we’re excited to do that and do more in the future.”
Adams said he’s not sure that there are many other projects around the state that are using the kind of construct that is making the Interurban project possible.
“I think that with all these funding mechanisms and partnerships involved, we now can kind of get a glimpse of what it’s going to take for residential development to happen in rural communities around the Greater Lafayette region or even across the state,” Adams said. “I think this is, complex as it is, a good boilerplate for us to do it again, here, and possibly anywhere else.”
The project is being named after the former interurban railway built in 1881 that ran through Delphi. Construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2024.